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Internship: a journey of wrong turns and coloured forms

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Trying to keep a firm hold on things in a fraught initial week

Diving out of bed at 5.00 am on Monday, I shower and preen like it’s my Year 12 formal, dressing with purpose in my carefully selected outfit. By 6.45 am, the ruminations on why one would be stupid enough to choose medicine as a career have begun. “Imposter syndrome” has set in. I could have been an accountant, a town planner, anything at all. Why medicine? I’m not cut out for it. I’ve fooled them for 5 years and now I’ll be found out. Why didn’t anyone intervene? I’m a humanities graduate for goodness sake. What do I know about medicine? I should have been content waxing lyrical about Foucault and reading Kafka.

My logical brain interrupts my stream of consciousness and reminds me of one inalienable truth: I am of the obsessional species. You know the sort: forms crushes on teachers, doesn’t like to step on cracks in the footpath, keeps their socks pulled up evenly and has a penchant for sniffing new textbooks. Of course I chose medicine.

I arrive at the hospital at 7.15 am, endure my “nervous diuresis” — managing two trips to the bathroom by 7.45 am — and set about enthusiastically…